It is especially important to remember to keep an eye on your rabbit during
the summer months. Rabbits do not tolerate heat well and can actually die from
being overheated. Each rabbit will tolerate heat differently and it is
important to observe your rabbit daily.
Make sure bunny is out of the sun. If they are confined to a cage or small
room for part of the day, be sure that there is plenty of shady space
for the bunny to rest.
Set up a circulating fan that will breeze past your rabbit without blowing
directly on him all day. You can also drape a damp towel over part of the cage
so the fan will blow through the towel and create cooler air. Be sure to
bunny-proof the fan cord!
Place a ceramic tile or marble square in the cage or in bun's favorite
place. The marble or tile stays cool for them to lie on.
Place a few ice cubes in their water crock so the water is tempting and they
can also lie against the cool crock.
Mist the rabbit's ears. Rabbits dissipate heat through their ears and
misting them will help keep the rabbit cool.
Brush out excessive fur. Who wants to wear an extra fur coat in the summer?
If you have a long haired rabbit, consider cropping your bunny's coat short
for the summer months.
Fill 1 or 2 liter soda bottles with water and freeze them. Once frozen, put
the frozen water bottle in Bun's cage so he can lean against it to keep cool.
Keep a few of these on hand in your freezer.
Be sure Bun is getting his fair share of veggies to help keep him hydrated.
See HRS Veggie list on web page.
Be especially watchful of rabbits over 5 years old or ones who are
overweight or incapacitated. These rabbits tend to be more sedentary and may
not get up to drink water if they are too hot. This can quickly lead to
dehydration which can lead to death or other health problems.
What other concerns arise in warm weather? Fly Strike.
As the weather warms, flies can strike and kill a healthy animal
who has temporary loose stools, but at particular risk are aging,
disabled, long-haired or overweight rabbits who are not able to
clean themselves. Within 24 hours, rabbits can enter a terminal
state of shock due to maggot infestation. Moisture, warmth, and
odor attract flies. If open sores are present, or if thick fur is
dampened with urine or feces, flies will head toward these warm
incubation areas to lay their eggs. The chances are greater if the
rabbit is outside, but it only takes one fly indoors to do the
damage. Maintaining a watchful eye, keeping your bunny dry and (if
needed) short-even-shaved are the most critical preventitive
steps. More fly strike info...